Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

Buying gifts for men – cosmetics much?

I remember when I was little and I’d buy presents for my Dad – he’d inevitably get a box of “men’s cosmetics” (ie Lynx, bless his soul) or a pair of socks. If I was feeling particularly flaithiúileamh, I’d push …

Mon, May 9, 2011, 12:30

   

I remember when I was little and I’d buy presents for my Dad – he’d inevitably get a box of “men’s cosmetics” (ie Lynx, bless his soul) or a pair of socks. If I was feeling particularly flaithiúileamh, I’d push the boat out and get him a scarf or, and this would only be on a very good year, a jumper.

Now that I’m grown up and can make good decisions, he gets a jumper. And possibly some kind of eBook voucher. As an entirely random aside, he revealed to me the other day that he’s recently read Pride & Prejudice. I was quite surprised, for several reasons. Firstly, he generally reads books about sci-fi and women, such as Pandora and the Long Forgotten Starfleet*. Secondly, I happen to know that not only has he already read Pride & Prejudice, he’s been forced to sit through the BBC series at least four times. It turns out that Pride & Prejudice, being old, is no longer within copyright and can be eBooked for free. So being thrifty has a benefit after all – not only is he being thrifty, but he’s expanding his mind! He was able to tell me exactly which Bennett sister married Mr Wickham without googling nothing! Impressive, don’t you agree?

Anyway the point is, I got a bundle that was quickly pilfered from my desk by a certain someone else in the office courtesy of Boots the other day, and got to thinking: I reckon the tide has turned a bit, and it’s now acceptable to buy cosmetics for men again. Not Lynx, mind you (even if the guy in the fallen angels ad is a stone fox), but thoughtful cosmetics that they might use. You know, exfoliators or shaving gel, and moisturiser with SPF (because men are getting vain an’ all!).

The first thing that struck me about the products was the packaging. It’s really slick. I’d buy these for me – mostly because I’m a total typography nerd and the typeface reminds me of MS Dos and my old IBM. (My Dad worked there; so sue me. I was playing Prince of Persia on my PC before anybody knew what Nintendo even was. Yes, I was that cool.)

It’s all fairly basic, no-frills stuff, which is great for the Irish man who might not be that comfortable adopting a fancy skincare routine. (No, Paul Galvin, not you; we all know you’re metrosexual. WE GET IT.) Face scrub (€9.95), face wash (€8.95) and post-shave recovery balm, for example (€9.95). And not bad price points either. Anyway obviously I haven’t tried them out, but I’ll be honest; I like the look of them. I like the products, I like the packaging, I like the prices. And I like No7 so I have high hopes.

But men, what do you think? Do you love or loathe cosmetics? Is this the gift you love to hate? Or hate to love? Come clean!

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